HBO Max, AT & T's major streaming effort, launched in May 2020 for $ 14.99 a month, the company announced at a special event held for investors. An ad-supported level will reportedly be launched in 2021.
Existing HBO subscribers to AT&T (about 10 million) and HBO Now subscribers with direct billing will receive HBO Max for free. Customers who subscribe to AT & T's premium video, mobile and broadband packages will be offered packages upon launch with HBO Max at no extra cost, according to an AT&T press release.
The $ 14.99 price level makes it one of the most expensive in the changing flow landscape. Apple TV Plus is only $ 4.99 a month, while Disney + sits at $ 6.99 a month. AT&T is in a difficult place. HBO Now, its second streaming service with the HBO brand, is $ 1
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson honored the importance of today's event, which took place at the iconic Warner Bros. party. in Burbank, California, during a conversation with investors yesterday. Stephenson called the streaming service "very different from everything else you've seen in the market so far," adding that "This is not Netflix. This is not Disney. This is HBO Max. ”
Today's view of HBO Max was also designed to make investors calm. AT&T has drew the ire of investors who punished the decision to spend more than $ 85 billion on acquiring Time Warner (now WarnerMedia) just a few years after spending $ 67 billion on buying DirecTV, a service that now hemorrhages customers. Investment firm Elliott issued a letter to the company asking AT&T to dispose of unnecessary business arms. The investment company noted that AT & T's acquisition of WarnerMedia did not seem to make any sense.
While HBO Max is entering an increasingly crowded market, Stephenson said that the HBO brand already separates the service from its competitors. Stephenson added that at the level of the market where the company "intends to play, it's not that crowded."
HBO Max is ready to launch with an impressive number of titles for customers. Unlike HBO Now, there will also be a significant focus on children's programming and less prestigious, but still incredibly popular series. Friends and The Big Bang Theory will both stream exclusively on HBO Max, as well as new episodes of Sesame Street (moving from HBO's traditional broadcast channel), though episodes will eventually get to PBS. The entire Studio Ghibli library will also live exclusively on HBO Max. Not to mention, the streaming service will play home to show reboots such as Gossip Girl originally aired on CW – a network owned by WarnerMedia. This does not mean older WarnerMedia series to which the company has power rights and will add to customers.
Unlike HBO Now or Disney +, HBO Max is a more general entertainment player – although Stephenson allegedly lacks the term "general" in anything to do with HBO. The new streaming service is designed for everyone, which is not necessarily true for HBO Now (mostly adults) or Disney + (mostly kids, and Marvel or Star Wars fans). HBO Max must appeal to a wider audience to scale at what AT&T is looking for. Stephenson told investors on yesterday's earnings that HBO Max is predicted to hit 50 million subscribers in the United States by 2024.
All this means that HBO Max is going to introduce lots of content as quickly as possible. AT&T invests heavily in HBO, increasing the number of shows and films it produces by 50 percent. The company does not have a complete launch list yet – Disney + will release nearly 1,000 titles when it releases on November 12 – but expect more information closer to HBO Max's official launch.